Trump: States enacting individual abortion laws 'a beautiful thing to watch'

Former President Trump on Wednesday said it was “a beautiful thing to watch” as individual states passed patchwork abortion laws, some more restrictive than others, and suggested it could unify the country even as Democrats use the issue to drive turnout in elections.

Trump was asked in an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity about the issues Democrats are hoping to focus on in November’s election, including abortion.

Reproductive rights have been front and center politically in the two years since the conservative Supreme Court majority ended Roe v. Wade, with some states enshrining abortion rights and others enacting restrictive laws that effectively ban the procedure.

“Now the states are deciding. And by the way, in many cases, like Ohio, it became… more liberal or progressive than people would have thought,” Trump told Hannity. “But the people of Ohio decided. The people of Kansas decided. The people are now deciding.

“And it’s taken it off the shoulders of the federal government. Always they wanted it to be decided by the states. And Roe v. Wade didn’t do that. It put it into the federal government,” he continued. “So now states are voting on it. And in many cases, it’s more…liberal. In many cases, not in all cases. In some cases, they’re going the other direction. But the people are deciding. The people are deciding. And in many ways, it’s a beautiful thing to watch.”

Trump both took credit for ending Roe v. Wade through the appointment of three conservative justices to the Supreme Court and attacked Democrats as “the radicals” on the issue of abortion for not supporting limits on late-term abortions.

“The states are all deciding right now. And I think it’s working the way that people wanted it to work,” Trump said. “And it’s going to bring the country together on an issue that was very, very bad.”

Trump has taken the position that abortion policy should be left up to the states through legislation or ballot referendums as GOP-led states enact restrictive policies. But that has prompted attacks, including from some on the right who expressed disappointment the former president was not embracing a federal minimum standard for abortion.

The Biden campaign has repeatedly tied Trump to state-level bans and has highlighted the stories of women who faced life-threatening health conditions and could not receive treatment because of those bans or had to travel out of state for care.

“Tonight, in prime time, America saw Donald Trump consumed by rage and visibly rattled following his felony conviction; a man who has clearly snapped and whose candidacy is becoming more dangerous by the day,” Biden campaign communications director Michael Tyler said in a statement after the Hannity interview aired.

“It’s why the American people voted for Joe Biden over Donald Trump to begin with and why Trump can never step foot back in the Oval Office ever again,” he added.

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